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HTC Touch2 review: Beyond the basics

Posted by aryan Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Affordable isn't the most common word in the HTC vocabulary but a company whose sole line of business is smartphones is not quite expected to speak the language of the masses. That said, we really need to define affordable first. It's what HTC Touch2 tries hard to be but… let's face it… doesn't get too close to. After all, there's little a PocketPC full of high-tech goodies can do about it.

But there's much a company needs to do to keep pace with an evolving market. HTC are busy updating their portfolio and the Touch2 is yet another in a growing line of sequels. Alright, it may be a small step for PocketPCs but a solid move for HTC in the midrange.

The launch of TouchFLO is a landmark but the original Touch will also be remembered perhaps as the first HTC device to actually have some exterior design and compactness. No offence, but prior to that PocketPC's were just big enough to get away with the lack of style.

Anyway, the Touch Viva and the Touch 3G followed soon after - near clones that tried to give PocketPC's mass appeal.

So, that means the HTC Touch2 will be trying to walk in three pairs of shoes and give the company some flexibility in the midrange. The newbie is smart, fast (in fact, surprisingly fast), compact, and friendly. The sharp contemporary looks are a definite asset but there's more than enough stuff under the hood to motivate upgraders too.

Key features
2.8" 65K-color QVGA display
Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional OS with TouchFLO
Qualcomm MSM7225 528MHz CPU and 256MB RAM
Quad-band GSM support
3G with HSDPA 7.2Mbps
Wi-Fi connectivity
Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support
Stereo FM radio with RDS
3 MP fixed focus camera
microSD card slot
Touch-sensitive zoom bar
Standard miniUSB port and Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
Standard 3.5mm audio jack
Great audio quality
MS Office Mobile document editor
Opera 9.5 web browser
YouTube client, Facebook integration
Excellent video playback performance
Main disadvantages
Low-end display resolution
Camera lacks auto focus, flash, geotagging or a dedicated camera key
No accelerometer sensor
Poor screen sunlight legibility
Preloaded CoPilot Live navigation software is a trial version
No secondary video-call camera
No handwriting recognition

Actually, the real troublesome bit is screen estate. The QVGA 2.8-incher on the HTC Touch2 is so 2000-and-late - an unpleasant surprise in a phone that takes meticulous care to upgrade its predecessor. Less than the Cookie and on par with the Corby is hardly a compliment for a PocketPC, be it midrange. While the user interface is quite thumbable, the display does feel small at times and the stylus unavoidable.

HTC Touch2 live shots

At the end of the day though, the Touch2 seems to have enough to make up for this misfortune. And if size looks like an invitation to lower your expectations don't be too keen to take it. The Touch2 - among other things - is the first HTC phone to run Windows Mobile 6.5.

Keeping it slim and compact was a priority for the HTC Touch2

Even if sticking to the size limit was vital, HTC were quite generous with the equipment of the Touch2. From processing power to connectivity - the Touch2 is a solid and extensive upgrade. The smartphone runs the latest WinMo, packs Wi-Fi, HSDPA and an inbuilt GPS receiver. The fixed focus camera is not much of a perk but the standard 3.5mm audio jack will sure come in handy.

There is quite a lot to test so let's open the box and meet the handset in person. We're back after the jump with unboxing, design and construction. It's Touch2 time.


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